NHS Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson, has told medics to be prepared to 'step up' as the health service prepares for reform.
While attempting to reassure doctors and clinicians about the planned reforms, which have been watered down following opposition from those inside and outside the NHS, he said the changes to budget controls were a 'huge opportunity'.
He admitted that those in the profession were facing difficult times but welcomed the chance to 'shape the service in a way we've never had before'.
He added: "It seems to me that over the last week or so, and increasingly over the next few weeks, politicians are going to hand more and more of this responsibility to us. We need to step up to that."
Amid the plans for new commissioning boards, he reassured staff that the focus would remain on patient care as he strived to make the new groups 'the best they can possibly be'.